Increased community homelessness within San Luis Obispo has created a demand for a new city position in order to provide relief for those in need. 

The city has observed an ever-increasing urgency to administer resources to those in need of support as the pandemic progresses. According to the city council, the position of Homeless Response Manager was created because of residents’ and the council’s concern for the growing population of unhoused individuals. 

“I know first hand from years of volunteering at the homelessness services how important it is to connect social services with this vulnerable population and, when possible, help find them housing,” City Council Member Jan Marx said.  

The position will assist the city by implementing a more strategic approach that will connect the unhoused with services while protecting the health and safety of the rest of the community, according to the city council’s plans. The individual that fills this position will help to seek funding from the county, state and federal government to make their response possible. 

“The city of San Luis Obispo has shown a strong commitment to addressing the needs of the unhoused through direct funding allocations of its own [non-profit partners] and through a robust and affordable housing program,” Director of Community Development Michael Codron said. 

The day-to-day assignments for the Homeless Response Manager will evolve as time goes on. The main goal is to develop a response approach that is able to “quantitatively and qualitatively measure response effectiveness,” as stated on the homelessness response manager contract. 

Listed on the job posting, the manager will be the primary contact and coordinator related to homelessness issues in the city. They will also serve as the voice of the city at county-wide meetings while also preparing budget recommendations for support services. 

The city is looking for applicants with a background in homelessness response, housing programs, health promotion, food security, mental health or addiction. 

The position was approved by the city council and will be funded through June 30, 2023. Funding was allocated from revenues of the voter-approved local sales tax, Measure G-20. 

Recruitment efforts include postings on the city’s social media sites as well as featuring the position in a variety of public service-oriented publications. 

Recruitment for the Homeless Response Manager position was open until Feb. 21 and the candidate that exemplifies the most relevant qualifications will be announced in April, according to the position’s job listing. 

“The problem is a regional and state-wide challenge and we are looking forward to the full engagement of all our regional partners, led by the county of San Luis Obispo, to accomplish the work ahead,” Codron said.

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